Council to implement InnovateOhio GCT strategy to accelerate category momentum in Ohio.

BioOhio, the state’s bioscience trade organization, today announced the creation of a Gene and Cell Therapy Industry Council to amplify industry support for the growing momentum of this category across the state of Ohio. Gene and cell therapies represent some of the most advanced areas of therapeutic innovation today, with opportunities to transform the care of a wide range of genetically-driven diseases, many of which have few or no therapeutic options.

The Council will be co-chaired by Drs. Mike Triplett, CEO of Armatus Bio and Matt McFarland, Vice President of Commercialization and Industry Relations at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Council representatives will include BioOhio member companies, patient advocates, and research organizations.

Gene and cell therapy research has gained tremendous growth in Ohio over the last few years, fueled by the innovative research efforts at Ohio’s leading institutions, including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and others. Now, the academic momentum has been amplified by the investment of companies like Andelyn Biosciences, AmplifyBio, CTI, Forge Biologics, Sarepta Therapeutics, and others, which are now attracting substantial funding to expand their operations, with significant opportunities for job growth and collaboration in the state.

In 2021, recognizing this early momentum, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and InnovateOhio created a Gene and Cell Therapy Industry workgroup of key opinion leaders who were charged with developing a set of strategic recommendations to catalyze gene and cell therapy innovation, ventures, commercialization, and operations in Ohio. These recommendations outline approaches to enhance talent, capital, infrastructure, and business development within the industry. BioOhio’s newly formed GCT Industry Council will operationalize these strategic recommendations.

“Spurred by InnovateOhio’s early work on this issue, the Gene and Cell Therapy Industry Council is well-positioned to support the rapidly growing gene and cell therapy industry in the State of Ohio,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Director of InnovateOhio. “The launch of this Council is a great next step, and at InnovateOhio, we look forward to collaborating with gene and cell therapy companies through BioOhio to accelerate recognition of Ohio as an epicenter for advanced innovation.”

BioOhio’s new strategic plan includes the creation of a series of industry councils to represent and accelerate Ohio’s diverse and dynamic life sciences industry.

“We are thrilled that our first council will be focused on accelerating the gene and cell therapy industry, which represents a significant opportunity for economic development and thought leadership in Ohio. We look forward to kicking off this council’s efforts and sharing updates as we progress,” said Eddie Pauline, President and CEO of BioOhio.

“Rare and chronic diseases impact as many as one in 10 Ohioans, and gene and cell therapies have unlimited potential to improve so many lives. This council plays a critical role in generating momentum for attention, focus, funding and infrastructure to develop these life-changing therapies and bring new hope to families here in Ohio and around the world,” said Pat Furlong, President and CEO of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.

For more information about the council and to learn how to join, visit BioOhio.com/Ohio-GCT-Council.